Interview: The Duke Spirit

We recently caught up with Toby Butler of The Duke Spirit for a quick chat about the band’s return. S] What events led to your return? T] “We’ve been a […]

We recently caught up with Toby Butler of The Duke Spirit for a quick chat about the band’s return.

Duke Spirit

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S] What events led to your return?

T] “We’ve been a band that tours heavily since we started back in 2002. By 2012 we felt we needed a break, to do different things, and have a normal life for a bit. Some of us did side projects, some started families. We just needed to try things outside the walls of the band. Last summer Liela and I had talked about doing another Duke Spirit album and got in touch with Luke to see if he wanted to try writing some songs. We had a few writing sessions which proved fruitful pretty quickly. A sharing of ideas, and demoing them there and then. We decided to act fast, and rehearsed them and recorded them within a few months.”

S] What is the inspiration behind ‘Blue And Yellow Light’?

T] “This song is a mix of the soft goodbye to daytime, to life, to action as you watch the night set in, and yet a description of enduring love, total stillness, absolute attention. The kind of attention you place to someone you are falling in love with as well as the weird, sad focus you have when someone is leaving this world.”

S] Is this a good representation of what KIN has to offer?

T] “It kind of is. The album has a more luscious feels to it. We rolled around in the reverb, and let it all breathe. We recorded pretty quickly too. 10 days, plus a few days of overdubbing and  tinkering. We wanted to keep the energy and not overthink it all.”

S] Why the name, ‘Kin’?

T] “‘KIN’ just seemed to wrap it all up. Life changing. Priorities changing. What’s important and what isn’t.”

S] What are your main plans for the rest of the year?

T] “The rest of this year is pretty quiet. The album comes out early next year, so we’ll be focusing on then.”

S] How are you looking forward to playing to live audiences across the country regularly again?

T] “Playing live is something we’ve prided ourselves on, and built a reputation on. It’s of course something we love doing and so can’t wait to play more tracks of the album to people. It’s not so much a catharsis, more a release of energy. It feels like the place where find out most about this band sometimes.”

S] How do you look back at the success of tracks like ‘Love Is…’ and ‘Cuts Across The Land’ now?

T] “That first album did well in the UK, and was our mission statement really. Here’s what we do! That feeling of showing your hand for the first time can’t really be replicated. Our second album ‘Neptune’ did well in the US, and that was a similar feeling. Getting a lot of attention in a place like that felt great. It both feels like a long time ago, and like it just happened. Different tme back then. Pre-facebook.”

S] Will there be more Roman Remains work?

T] “Yeah, I think so. Liela and I are big fans of a lot of electronic music, and are keen to make more. It was a fun learning process, both creating the album, and playing it live. Very different exercises to what we do in The Duke Spirit. It helped us grow as musicians I think, just when we felt we needed it.”

Dom Smith

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